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Lebanon: Annan Condemns Latest Bombing

Lebanon: Annan Condemns Latest Bombing, Urges All Parties To Work For Peace New York,

Jul 12 2005 2:00PM

Condemning the car bombing north of Beirut, which wounded Lebanon's defense minister and killed two people today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly urged the Government of Lebanon to exert every effort to bring to justice those behind this and previous crimes that appear aimed at destabilizing the country.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns this terrorist act which has the effect of undermining the process of building a peaceful, independent and sovereign Lebanon," said a statement issued by Mr. Annan's spokesman in New York, referring to the attack, which killed two people and injured the current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Elias Murr, and several others.

The Secretary-General reiterates his support, and that of the international community, for the right of the Lebanese people to live free of fear and intimidation," the statement said, adding that Mr. Annan calls upon all parties to work towards a united and democratic Lebanon.

Entering UN Headquarters in New York this morning Mr. Annan told reporters thatobviously, each time a bomb attack occurred in Lebanon was a "source of concern and worry."

"Lebanon has made lots of progress. The Syrian troops and the security apparatus have withdrawn. They've had very fair and peaceful elections, but the situation is still fragile. And we need to be concerned when these attacks take place," he said, adding: I haven't got the full report on the incident and who was likely to have committed it. But we need to remain vigilant."

Mr. Annan also said that Detlev Mehlis, the head of the independent investigative committee investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, is carrying on with his work, and was "proceeding efficiently."

"And he's got all the support and the cooperation he needs. And in time, we will be receiving his report," Mr. Annan said.

ENDS

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